In a nation that is blessed with so much abundance in talents but with less utilization, one needs to applaud the very few platforms giving light to such talents and harnessing them to global recognition.
One of such platforms with such capabilities is Achievas Entertainment, a 360-degree outfit with interests in Music, Football, Movie and Events. Launched in 2006, Achievas Entertainment became the home of award-winning artiste – Solid Star for 10 years; they also successful organized the first three editions of Olamide Live In Concert and also Davido’s 30 Gang Concert in Lagos.
We had a sit-down with the CEO, Paul Chiori Cole aka Ossy Achievas who led us in on their operations and future plans for the Nigeria entertainment industry at large.
Who is Ossy Achievas?
My name is Paul Cole and I’m from Abia State although I grew up in Lagos and partly in the north. Ossy was a pet name given to me by my father and when I floated Achievas Entertainment, industry people started calling me Ossy Achievas and it stuck.
Prior to launching Achievas, what were you involved with?
I used hangout with a lot with artistes back then, artistes like Daddy Fresh, Daddy Showkey and some others; I used to make money out of dancers by taking them round club houses where they would perform for a fee – this was between 1996 and 1998. In 2006, my brothers and I with a few of my friends launched Achievas Entertainment to harness young talents and give them a privilege to showcase themselves by supporting them.
What was your first project as a company?
When we registered as a company in 2006, we signed our first artiste – Famous [F9] but we had a misunderstanding that couldn’t be resolved, so he left. Then in 2007 I saw Solid Star and brought him on board.
How do you spot a talented individual as a label owner?
Spotting talents is in built for me because of the strong passion I have for grassroots talents. Aside music, I also spot talents for our football academy – Achievas FC and we have exported quite a number of good footballers into the European market. Also, our first movie project as a company gave Adesua her first major movie role that brought her to limelight – Knocking on Heaven’s Door.
How would you rate the Nigeria music industry being a label owner yourself?
The Nigerian music industry lacks structure and that’s the simple truth. With our numbers as a nation, entertainers ought to be smiling to the bank. Aside from lacking structure, there is greed also; I mean how can we have just one collecting body for all artistes in Nigeria? That’s totally not right and very unfair to artistes too. If we have competition just like we had in the telecoms industry, then maybe the story might differ.
If you were to make things right in industry, what will you do?
If I had the powers, I would put all artistes under one functional body; bring in the telecoms and other corporate entities. There has to be accountability for what goes out and comes in. I would also get the government fully involved because in this part of the world, it is only when government is involved we take things serious.
If you were to consult for a label, what would be your blueprint advice?
Honestly right now the moment you sign an artist, just go straight to business because of what is happening now. Solid Star was with me for 2 years from 2007 before I officially signed him in 2009 and then released his first single – One in a Million featuring 2Baba. Artistes of these days are not smiling, they want activities going on for them not minding whether there is a strategy in place or not. So if I am to advice, I would say do the right things and do them properly; don’t give a bogus contract and expect to make money instantly.
Most of these talented are in a world of their own and are even arrogant, so the best way is to prepare a suitable contract for them and find the best way to curtail their excesses because it certainly will happen.
Let’s talk about your event organizing activities, how did it start?
The idea of organizing event was on even before signing an artiste came on board. I met Solid Star at an event I was part of then. I had a car, so I was always assisting in carrying equipments and stuffs. We organized Igos and Lolo’s first concert on the mainland as well as Mainland MiniFest, and then in 2014, one of our directors suggested we do a Wizkid concert which we saw as a viable idea but the deal didn’t come through because of the Wizkid’s asking fee. Still in 2014, we reached out to Olamide and after several meetings, Achievas with Toro Group reached an agreement with Olamide and we had the first three OLIC concerts. Moving on, we reached out to Davido again and that led us to organizing his 30 Billion Gang concert in Lagos.
What are the challenges of organizing event in Nigeria?
The two major challenges are location and security; there is no more convenient location than Eko Hotel and if you choose to take it to a stadium, we don’t have the required security personnel on ground except we’ll have to get in foreign security personnel and that further increases the cost. Another challenge we have is the fire brigade approach of Nigerians – always wanting to do stuffs at the rush hour. Naturally, Nigerians are very bored persons but people would usually wait till a week or even days to the event before they choose to buy tickets.
Would there subsequent editions of Davido’s Concert?
Yes, definitely. Let me say something again concerning organizing events. The personality of who you headlining also matters, you pay heavily to some of these artistes and then for them to promote, it becomes a major problem but they forget it also goes a long way in the success of the event. Once artiste promotes, show promoters does their work well, there is no way you won’t have a sellout show and that is exactly what happened with the Davido’s concert.